Joy Harjo VIDA Voices & Views Interview

In this episode of VIDA Voices and Views, produced by R. J. Jeffreys, Melissa Studdard speaks with celebrated poet, author, musician, and playwright, Joy Harjo, who talks about topics ranging from sources of inspiration to the power of language to effect change.

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Joy Harjo Quotes from This Episode of VIDA Voices & Views:

“The spirit of poetry came to me and said, ‘you don’t know how to listen, and you don’t know how to speak. I will teach you.”

“A word, depending on where it’s placed, and at what time, can change everything.”

“You use what you have to create, and if that’s anger, you use it. You can turn it into something useful. If it’s fear, which is one I know about, it’s still energy that you can use.”

“Poems are beautiful little energetic cloud songs that carry so much. A poem can carry miles and miles of a place.”

“As a kid I was a go-to person because I was the one who would go to the library and look up everything everybody wanted to know.”

“My spirit said, ‘You can change the story,’ and I think it’s possible. We can change the story.”

“There are so many different ways to come at poetry, and they all have a place, but for me it was about finding a language that was closer to my original language, which was one that could speak what my spirit experiences and dreams. Things people know that don’t translate well in English can translate in poetry.”

About VIDA Voices & Views:

VIDA Voices & Views is a video and audio interview program designed to call attention to a plurality of voices by interviewing writers, editors, publishers, series curators, anthologists, awards committee members, and other dedicated members of the literary community about their own work, vision, and concerns, as well as topics at the forefront of literary activism. The program seeks to contribute to a better understanding of the literary landscape and the issues facing artists of all genders, as well as to foster nuanced conversation about gender parity, race, disability, LGBTQ, economic, and other crucial issues impacting writers today.

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Posted in: Interviews Podcasts